Coming off a four fight losing streak stretching back to 2011, Frank Mir changed his fortune in all the best ways with a stunning first round KO over former title challenger Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva at UFC Fight Night 61. Despite the fight ending in under 2 minutes, Mir showed some excellent skills we haven’t seen from him in years, and here are our favourite parts of Frank’s performance in Brazil.
Frank Mir’s footwork in this fight was something to behold, especially for a man of 260lbs. From the opening bell, Mir used a very Muay Thai-esque plodding style, picking his feet up multiple times and utilizing head movement.
This style of footing kept Bigfoot worried about Mir’s kicks, and mixing that with the head movement and Mir’s ability to move in and out of boxing range cleanly forced Silva to either move forward into open strikes, or stay defensive and not throw any attacks. This ultimately had an impact on the ending of the contest as Bigfoot was forced to think about Mir’s footwork patterns which arguably froze Silva allowing Mir to capitalise on the open guard with the left hook that dropped the Brazilian.
Mir’s defense through the whole contest was very loose, with low hands and a wide stance Mir was able to easily defend against Silva’s front kicks, see (4:15) and (3:45) of the fight, and any would be takedown attempts (even though there were none). Mir was also able to conserved energy with a very free flowing style of defense and not being overly stiff, which also allowed him to throw numerous combinations without using much energy. This style of defense showed that Mir was ready for a long contest, and his game plan may have been to frustrate and wear out Silva.
In his time off Frank Mir got himself a new boxing coach in Angelo Reyes, and it definitely showed in his performance, with some boxing combos Freddie Roach himself would be proud of. Mir pumped out his jab very effectively in this contest, making Silva wary of it from the opening second of the fight. Frank then used this jab to set up some beautiful combos, most notably a jab straight combo that cut through Bigfoot’s guard, see (4:25) of the fight. Mir also showed his hours in the gym by throwing and faking the fight finishing jab, left hook combo many times see (4:36) (4:26) (3:55) (3:50) This showed us that Frank had been practicing his combinations and, come fight night was seeing how Silva was reacting to them. Mir then showed his MMA intelligence and waited for the perfect time to unleash the combo to its full effect landing perfectly on a frozen Bigfoot.
Ground and Pound
The fight finishing sequence was reminiscent of Mir’s KO over Nogueira in 2008, finishing both Minotauro and Bigfoot with a blistering flurry of savage attacks. Mir showed great fight IQ and finishing instinct going after the stunned Silva quickly and brutally but also picking his shots carefully and with intent. In the finishing seconds Mir landed numerous, and all the punches he threw, causing Bigfoot to roll to his side. What happened next again showed Mir’s in cage experience as he swapped from punches to short, sharp elbows to the now exposed temple of Silva, giving Frank the ability to finish the fight quicker than if he continued to throw big punches.
Can Frank Mir make a run at the heavyweight title? We suspect not, but the Frank Mir shown last Sunday night was a vast improvement from the boring and hesitant Mir of recent years, and a match up with similar striker Matt Mitrione could make for a great main card heavyweight contest.